Monday, May 3, 2010

Food Revolution Petition

Remember how I told you about Jamie Oliver and how he attempting to change the school lunch food system in America? Well, if you've watched the Food Revolution, you know that he has done an amazing job in Huntington, West Virginia, but it can't stop there...and you can help too! After I posted about the show Food Revolution, someone recommended that I check this out. 

Jamie started a petition to improve school food & knowledge about healthy eating and he plans to send it to the White House. You can sign it here, it only takes 30 seconds. Over 500,000 people have already signed it. This could really make a difference in the way Americans eat and help them live healthier and longer lives.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

My Last Supper

A book that I've been dying to get my hands on is My Last Supper by Melanie Dunea. Melanie is a very well-known celebrity photographer and she put together this book of famous chefs revealing what their last meals on earth would be.The concept of this book is pretty incredible...if you had tried all of the most decadent food in the world, what would you want for your last meal? How would you decide?
One chef, Jose Andres, said:
he "would recreate a barbecue he once had in an old mill in Tazones, a village in Asturias (northern Spain). It consists of warm tortillas and potato omelets, piles of percebes (gooseneck barnacles), llámpares (snail-like mollusks), and centollos (gigantic spider crabs).”
The photography is amazing in this book. I love the picture below of Mario Batali.
It made me start to think....what would I want MY last supper to be? Would I even be able to decide? The one thing I do know is that it would be a feast, to say the very least. It would have to consist of a mix of my mother's cooking, some memorable meals I've had dining out, and of course a Magnolia cupcake to finish it all off. What would YOUR last supper be?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Outdoor Bar Crawl

It's finally starting to feel like summer! The sun is out, it's about to be Spring Weekend and I can finally go outside without worrying about a sweater. I just found out that I'll be living in Hell's Kitchen this summer and I'm really excited to spend some time exploring the city like I haven't been able to do enough of this year. Time Out magazine has a lot of great information to offer about things to do in NY and I found this week's issue to be a great introduction to what there is to do during the summer in the city. The issue features "Great Walks of NYC" and has 10 different themed walks, such as "$1 food walk" and "30 Rock walk". The walk that I want to try the most is the "Outdoor Bar Crawl Walk". Spending a Friday afternoon outside drinking with friends sounds like the perfect summer city day to me. And hey, you're gonna walk almost 2 miles so you don't have to feel as guilty about all the drinking & eating!

Here it is:

Start: 7 Rivington St between Bowery and Chrystie St
End: 215 Ave A between 13th and 14th Sts
Time: 2 hours
Distance: 1.9 miles

1 One key to a successful pub crawl is to let all parties involved booze at their own pace. At Loreley (7 Rivington St between Bowery and Chrystie St; 212-253-7077,, more than a dozen German beers come in a variety of sizes—from 0.2-liter ($3) whistle-wetters to sturdy liter steins ($14–$16)—so that everyone can ease into the afternoon comfortably. Grab a picnic table in the well-shaded biergarten and order a crisp, bubbly Reissdorf Kölsch ($3–$14).

2 Don’t be fooled by the generic pub facade of Stanton Public (17 Stanton St between Bowery and Chrystie St; 212-677-5555,—once you’re through the doors, you’ll find a mind-boggling beer selection (including 17 drafts) and a graffiti-covered backyard kitted out with mini picnic tables.

3 Now that you’re good and loose, trot up Orchard Street to The Sixth Ward (191 Orchard St between E Houston and Stanton Sts; 212-228-9888, The patio out back is no Central Park—it’s made of concrete and decorated with silhouettes of an Irish lad from New York’s gangland days. Still, it’s spacious and convivial, with a solarium boasting a pool table. A standard tap lineup is similarly utilitarian, but it does offer just what the doctor ordered: fortifying pints of vitamin G (Guinness) for $6.

4 By now you’ve added another member to your crew; his name is Drunkenness, and he’s threatening the integrity of the tour. Keep him in check with a snack at Tuck Shop (68 E 1St between First and Second Aves; 212-979-5200,, home to one of the world’s most perfect booze sponges: Australian meat pies that are filled with meat and veggies. Opt for the $5 “chook” version (chicken, ham, leeks).

5 Next up is beer-and-whiskey haven d.b.a. (41 First Ave between 2nd and 3rd Sts; 212-475-5097, Pick your poison from more than 250 beers (all $1 off from 1 to 7:30pm daily), including two cask varieties, and relax in the most gardenlike of gardens: Its hanging flowerpots, rustic stone wall, real trees and wooden furniture draw a mixed and unpretentious crowd.

6 Refreshed and inspired, resume your bender at Bavarian beer haunt Zum Schneider (107–109 Ave C at 7th St; 212-598-1098, The sidewalk tables are hotly contested real estate among day-drinkers, so circle like a hawk until you can swoop in on one. Inquire about the seasonal brews on tap, or play it safe with a summery Weihenstephaner Hefe Weissbier ($4–$12).

7 Keep it moving to The Sunburnt Cow (137 Ave C between 8th and 9th Sts; 212-529-0005, In addition to a patio with a glass roof and garden view, this Down Under party spot offers two hours of all-you-can-drink boozing for $20. The fruity, beach-themed cocktails ($7–$9) pack a punch, but Aussie brews like Coopers and Tooheys ($6 each) might be wiser choices for the long haul.

8 It’s likely still early in the evening, but you’re on pub-crawl time, meaning you’re going to want to crash soon. First, a nightcap: Pop into, where mixologist Greg Seder has created a cocktail menu divided into “classic” and “alchemist” drinks. With all the liquor sloshing around in your stomach, it’s probably best to err on the familiar side. Order a perfectly smooth old-fashioned ($9) and carry it to a cabana on the small but handsomely appointed back patio.

9 It would be a miracle if you weren’t feeling queasy at this point. Your antidote is the delicious, greasy Mexican food at Zaragoza Mexican Deli & Grocery (215 Ave A between 13th and 14th Sts, 212-780-9204), a hole-in-the-wall bodega that dishes out some of the East Village’s best—and cheapest— tacos ($3 and under). Choose from meat options like chorizo, beef or whatever’s on offer that day. Trust us, it’ll taste good—and not just because you’re three sheets to the wind.

10 Anyone still standing? Something worth noting: That gaudy sign down the street marks the entrance to Superdive (200 Ave A between 12th and 13th Sts; 646-448-4854,, and the doors below it lead to a boisterous faux frat house, where a game of beer pong or flip cup is a lot easier to find than your better judgment. We’re just saying.…

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New Local Spot: Umai Sushi

As you probably have gathered already, sushi is my ultimate vice. So of course I was keen to try out the new sushi bar on Arthur Ave., Umai Sushi. First of all, in the four years that I have attended Fordham, there has never been one sushi place in this neighborhood. Now there are two! The first one to open was Sake II on 187th St. near Camberling Ave. I have to say that I do love this place and their sushi is pretty decent, also their prices are great-bento boxes are $12.95! You can even make a delivery order online. (They take 10% off your first order!) The only problem with Sake II is it is incredibly small...There are only two tables in the whole restaurant. So if I wanted to make a delivery order, Sake II is the way to go. 

If you're looking for an evening out with friends or a date, Umai is definitely the way to go. It's a bit pricier than Sake II, but the quality is definitely worth it. Another great thing is that it's BYOB so you can grab a cheap bottle of wine from Mt. Carmel and share it with friends. The decor is quaint but almost forget for a second that you're not in Manhattan. 

I actually ended up going to dinner here TWICE this weekend; that's how good it was. Both nights they gave us a free vegetable spring roll as an appetizer...The staff is incredibly friendly and grateful to have you there. We ordered a few rolls; I would recommend the Y2K roll, and the Spicy 2 in 1 Roll, although everything I tried I loved. Also, both nights I went they even gave us a FREE dessert- Oreo Tempura which is exactly what it sounds like, Oreos fried in tempura batter. They were absolutely delicious. If you haven't been to this place yet....GO! 

A few people I talked to were questioning whether or not a sushi place in the Bronx could be decent, but give our neighborhood a little more credit! New places are opening up all the time and a lot of them are here to cater to Fordham students so take advantage of them. Although the Italian restaurants on Arthur are unbeatable, if you want a change of pace try Umai Sushi. 

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Fresh & Local: Saturday Wine Tasting

If you're a Fordham student, I'm sure you're familiar with Mount Carmel Wine & Spirits on 187th St. BUT, did you know that they have a wine tasting every Saturday from 1-5 pm? I've said in the past that I've always had trouble choosing wine, which is why a wine tasting is pretty ideal for those of us who have trouble telling the difference between a Cabernet and a Merlot.

Today's wine tasting featured three Italian wines, all within the $20 range. I was actually looking for a wine to give my parents who are on a flight home from South Africa as we speak. Out of the three wines, I ended up choosing a red wine from Tuscany called "Argiano". It's a full-bodied Rosso Toscano that tastes kind of like a mix between a Cabernet and a Merlot, according to the knowledgeable sommelier who administered the wine tasting. It costs $21.99, which I think is a reasonable price. Wine tastings are a great way for the non-winos to figure out which types of wine they prefer and t0 experience a variety of different wines before buying one just based on the label...which I tend to do a lot!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Fresh & Local Weekend: Oyster Bar

This weekend, I plan on staying in the Bronx and appreciating what my neighborhood has to offer. Because in less than a month (yikes!) I won't be living here anymore and I want to take advantage of it for as long as I can.

Today was a BEAUTIFUL day and my friend Steph and I went for a stroll down Arthur Ave. One of our favorite things to do in the spring is to go to Cosenza's Fish Market and share a dozen oysters at their clam & oyster bar. I know that oysters are an acquired taste, but I absolutely love them. They are so refreshing and delicious....eating an oyster is like tasting a little part of the ocean, which may sound weird but it's true! If you've had doubts about oysters in the past, you should really give them a second chance.

Cosenza's has a variety of different clams & oysters on the half shell to choose from. We went with the Delaware Bay oysters, $1 each, which is pretty inexpensive for oysters. The other popular ones are the Blue Point oysters, $1.50 each.

There are so many sauces to choose from to accompany your oysters. I would recommend the Shark Bite Garlic Pepper Sauce or Cosenza's homemade cocktail sauce. With a squeeze of lemon, of course.
Our Delaware Bay oysters...yum!
Soo delicious...
"Eat Fish, Live Longer" I like that!
All done!

*Cosenza's Fish Market is right next to Umberto's Restaurant on the corner of 186th and Arthur Ave.

Monday, April 19, 2010

A settle for The Fireplace

Yesterday was a sad day. My friends and I drove all the way to White Manna for a deliciously indulgent meal and it was CLOSED. We all teared up a little when we had just missed the last servings of sliders by only 10 minutes. When you're craving White Manna, nothing else will remotely compare or come close to satisfaction.
But, because my roommate Carly and I wanted to show our Massachusetts friends that Jersey CAN have little gems that make the state what it is, we took them to the next best thing we could think of: The Fireplace. Also a burger joint, The Fireplace is an old classic, the kind of place that has been a hidden gem for Jersey natives for decades. It sits along the truck-heavy highway of Route 17 and looks like it hasn't been redone since the early 50s. The Fireplace has a bizarre patriotic theme and the inside resembles an old log cabin. The walls are covered with Civil War memorabilia that seem like they have hung there since the war started.
The food is decent. The milkshakes are perfect. There are three different ordering stations: The Burger Station, the Chicken Station, and the Pizza Station. Weird, I know. But the Fireplace is one of those places that you visit for the atmosphere, the coziness of it all. Not necessarily for the food. It's a family place, where you went with your parents after a baseball game or with your class after a field trip. And sometimes these kinds of places are worth the mediocre food to have the childhood memories come flooding back.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Wait! Don't eat that...Let me document it first.

Ok, I love to read cooking & dining blogs...but can you imagine keeping track of every single thing you put in your mouth, and then posting a picture of it online? This concept seems pretty bizarre to me, but apparently it's becoming pretty popular. 

This guy posts pictures every week of EVERY single thing he eats. There are no explanations as to why he does what he does on the website, just pictures. 

Then there is a Flickr group dedicated to people sharing pictures of their meals, and I have to admit that I found this website way more appealing. Some of the pictures, like the ones below, are pretty fantastic, not to mention make stomach growl. 
There is also a website called "Tweet What You Eat" which helps people keep track of their food & calorie intake. I admire the originality of this website and how it makes people feel as though they are part of a community of others who are trying to lose weight. Keep in mind how much you would have to stick to this website for it to actually work though...which is where I would get lost and most likely be unsuccessful. 

The world of food blogging is rapidly expanding and it's pretty exciting! And the idea that food photography is taking on its own art form is pretty cool. I think I might need to start taking more pictures... and possibly join that Flickr group! 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

What I'm reading...

I started reading Julia Child's My Life In France this past summer, and I'm finally getting around to finishing it (although probably not until I finish the 3 research papers due in the next two weeks...yikes). Everyone knows that Julia Child was one of the most accomplished chefs of all time, and an inspiration to American women who wanted to pursue their dreams of becoming professional chefs. The book is a memoir of her early years learning to cook at La Cordon Bleu in Paris, and falling in love with her husband Paul. Not only do you see how she learned to cook, but you also see how her love of food was born when she moved to France. The descriptions of the food she both cooks and eats are mouth watering, so you might be in a constant state of hunger while reading, but it's definitely worth it. She writes in a way that makes the reader feel like Julia is right there with you, telling the story of her life...maybe while she's cooking you an amazing meal...I wish!

Monday, April 12, 2010

2,000 calories for an omelette?

After posting about Jamie Oliver and his "food revolution" I stumbled across this. A list of the 20 worst sit-down restaurant foods. I'm really not one to count calories but this is a little sickening. I know I've probably had a lot of things on this list too...How does a grilled chicken & avocado sandwich come out to 1,752 calories?! Check it out for yourself.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Jamie Oliver-Food Revolution

Most people know that America is considered the most unhealthy country in the world. Our eating habits aren't exactly admirable when fast food is the cheapest and most accessible option for meals. I've started watching Jamie Oliver's new show "Food Revolution" and I've been shocked to say the least.

Jamie Oliver is a famous British chef who has done a lot of work in Britain to change school lunch menus to be healthier and for kids to become more educated about eating healthy.

In the show, Jamie travels to Huntington, West Virginia which is considered the most unhealthy city in the US. His mission: to improve the eating habits of this town and educate people about healthy foods.

The first place he visits is the elementary school, where it was shocking to see that the kids' breakfasts were comprised of "breakfast pizzas" and chocolate milk. Then the kids would proceed to have another pizza for lunch; never any fruits or vegetables. I feel as though most people would agree that their experience in elementary school was similar to this. When I think about what I ate for lunch at school, chicken fingers, french fries, hamburgers, and soda fountains come to mind.

The problem seems to be that these kids just knew nothing about healthy eating habits. In this clip, Jamie goes to one of the classrooms to test the kids to see if they could even identify different types of vegetables.

Pretty shocking, huh? The show is actually kind of a tear jerker (okay, so I cry during every episode) but it's actually pretty scary how many people in America die of obesity simply because they don't know how to cook and eat healthy. I obviously don't think that Jamie Oliver can single handedly change the people eat in the US but I think it's great exposure and a huge reality check as to how many people are killing themselves because of the way they eat. It also really makes me want to try one of Jamie Oliver's recipes...which I'll post when I do. But definitely check out the show...I watched all the episodes on Hulu but the show is on every Friday night.

Friday, April 9, 2010


My mom's infamous cupcake recipe. You WON'T be disappointed, trust me. I probably shouldn't even be posting this because the recipe is so valuable, but I'm feeling generous. Cupcakes are meant to be shared and enjoyed by all! So here it is! ( kinda need a food processor)

Mombard's Famous Cupcakes

You'll need:
6 oz. butter
6 oz. sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
6 oz. self rising flour
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Place butter, sugar, flour, baking powder, eggs, & vanilla in bowl. Process for 15-25 minutes until well mixed. Cook at 325 degrees for 15 minutes or until ready.

*Okay, so that's kind of the easiest recipe of all time. But aren't the best recipes always the simple ones?

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Tilapia w/ Black Beans and Kale

I made another great recipe from Women's Health last night and it was a big hit with my roomies! I feel like we never cook fish in our apartment, probably because we never buy it. But I really do love seafood. So, on my way back to the BX yesterday I picked up some tilapia fillets and some of new favorite vegetables. If you've never had it, it's kinda like a mix between spinach and broccoli and you can sautee it in about 5 minutes. I recommend trying some, its delicious and sooo good for you. Anyway, the recipe took about 15 minutes to make in its entirety and I served it up with some brown rice! Here it is....

Skillet Tilapia w/ Black Beans and Kale
You'll need:
-A few fillets of tilapia
-1 cup of chopped kale
-1 cup of black beans, rinsed and drained
-1/2 cup of chopped red onion
-2 tbsp of tomato paste
-1 tbsp of olive oil
-red pepper flakes
-salt & pepper to taste

1. In a skillet, combine onion, oil, and salt to taste. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add kale and stir to coat with seasonings. Cook until kale starts to wilt, about 2 minutes. Stir in beans and tomato paste. Set tilapia on mixture. Dust lightly with red pepper flakes.

2. Cover and cook until tilapia is cooked through, about 10 minutes. Serve with lemon.

*I apologize for not having pictures, I forgot to take them...It is a beautiful looking dish though!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Paella for all!

Happy Easter everyone! For me, holidays are always about spending time with people you love...but also about sharing an amazing meal as well. Last night, in celebration of the beautiful weather my family had a little bbq at our house in Jersey. It seriously felt like a summer night, I almost forgot that I would be going back to school in a couple days and worrying about research papers and getting ready to graduate (a scary thought). My parents are huge foodies as I've mentioned in the past and they love trying new things. So they decided to make a huge paella on the grill for all of their guests. If you don't know what paella is (you should because it's delicious) it's a Spanish dish that consists of a mixture of saffron infused rice, seafood, chicken, and chorizo sausages. And it looks something like this: 

You basically put the arborio rice, along with mussels, scallops, shrimp, and calamari into a HUGE skillet along with chorizo, chicken,  tomatoes, chicken broth, onions, and peppers and season it with saffron, garlic, and parsley. It's seriously one of the best things I've eaten in awhile and it was so easy to make. I'm actually really upset I didn't take a picture of the final product but it was a beautiful sight, not to mention it smelled amazing. Unfortunately I don't have a grill in the bronx, but you can just as easily make this recipe on a stove top. Ours fed 8 people. I don't have the exact recipe because this was kinda a improvised trial run but I found this recipe that looks almost exactly like the one we had. 

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Tanuki Tavern-Delicious Sushi!

Last night, a friend and I had a late dinner at Tanuki Tavern at the Hotel Gansevoort. My parents were kind enough to give me a gift certificate that they had sitting around the house, probably only because it was going to expire at the end of March, but hey, no complaints here!

Tanuki Tavern is a Japanese "gastropub" that serves up amazing sushi rolls, hibachi, ramen, and rice dishes. The decor is adorable, we sat in this pink room that made me think Hello Kitty could have been an inspiration to the designer.

My friend Antonio and I ordered a bunch of dishes and just decided to share them all. It's so much more fun to share and be able to taste a little of everything! To start, we had the edamame which was unexpectedly spicy and unlike any edamame I've ever had. We split two sushi rolls, the Rock Shrimp Dynamite Roll and the Sesame Crusted Tuna Tataki Roll. Both were delicious, but we loved the Dynamite Roll the most. It was drizzled with an amazing spicy "dynamite" sauce that was creamy and amazing. Once we devoured these rolls we shared the steak hibachi which was mildly disappointing. It was about the size of my palm, waay too small and was undercooked a little too much; and trust me, I love my steak cooked medium rare. It didn't come with any sides so we had to order an additional bowl of jasmine rice. If I were to go back, I would only order from the sushi menu...I was so impressed with the quality. Tanuki is a trendy but casual spot that would be great for drinks and a small bite to eat. ( I had an amazing grapefruit cocktail that had tiny cherry blossoms in it...adorable!) I definitely want to go back again and I would recommend it to any sushi lovers.

Tanuki Tavern
at Hotel Gansevoort
18 Ninth Ave (entrance on 13th Street)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

CRAVING....White Manna

Unfortunately, while I was home in Jersey I didn't get to visit the most amazing and mouth watering burger joint in the world. I'm not exaggerating. White Manna, in Hackensack NJ is nothing short of a legend.This place has been around for over 50 years, some even claim it's the original White Castle. My parents have photographs of White Manna that they took in the 80s when they used to eat here. And this place hasn't changed one bit. A tiny little burger place that serves up the most delicious sliders you will ever eat. They're each a $1 and depending on how hungry you are, you could inhale anywhere from 3 to 6 of these ( or more, I've seen it done). The original way of having them is with cheese, carmelized onions, a pickle, and ketchup.

NEVER ask for lettuce and tomatoes.

Placing an order here is an art form. You can only ask for burgers from the burger guy and you better know exactly what you want when you're going to order. If you want fries (I recommend the cheese fries...why not? You're already indulging) or a drink you have to ask the drink & fries guy NOT the burger guy. The people who work here are so nice, but if you screw this up you might get a death glare. They take their burgers very seriously.
The only way to end your meal would be to leave with a milkshake in hand. They're homemade and probably the best milkshakes I have ever had. Hackensack is about a 30 minute drive from NYC and totally worth the trip if you have a car. My friends and I do it all the time and it's the perfect getaway on a Saturday or Sunday and you won't have to eat for the next 24 hours. Okay, it's decided..I need to take a trip before the end of the week!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Pamper yourself for less

My friend recently told me about this awesome website called LifeBooker. Basically, it's a site that gives you up to 60% off on beauty services in NYC. Haircuts, facials, massages, manicures, pedicures...anything you could possibly be looking for (sorry boys, this is mainly for girls although they do have a section for you too...look for "just for guys"). So this is how it works: people cancel appointments last minute all the time. What happens to these open time slots? They get sent to LifeBooker and people get the benefit of jumping in and snagging these appointments for over half off the original price. It's so easy to use, you can make an appointment online and choose from a number of different places so it's simple to compare prices. I know this is sounding like a promo for the site, but college students are always looking for ways to find bargains and a cheap haircut or facial in the city is soooo hard to come by. I recently found a mani/pedi for $25 at Allure Day Spa which is an amazing deal. If you're looking to pamper yourself for an affordable price you should definitely check it out.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Back to reality...and a new discovery

After a looong and relaxing week in the Puerto Rican sun without any kind of communication with the outside world, nothing could be even MORE relaxing than a weekend at home with some of my mom's home cooked food. While we were in Puerto Rico, we had to unfortunately deal with having a student budget so a PBandJ at the beach every day was our lunch of choice. Some of the local cuisine in PR was definitely worth trying. A dish called Mofongo consisted of mashed plaintains mixed with butter & garlic and stuffed with either chicken, beef, or fish was actually pretty amazing. I returned to New Jersey last night after a pretty easy 3 and 1/2 hour flight which consisted of bawling my eyes out while watching the Blind Side and eating a sandwich that came in a plastic bag. But anyway, I was lucky to return to a delicious pot roast that my mom knew I would be craving. She also introduced me to a vegetable I've never really had that was SO good I asked her for the recipe. She made Braised Leeks with Lemon and I've never really had anything like them! So easy to make and so delicious. Here's the recipe, you neeeeed to try them.

You'll need:
  • 4 small or medium leeks, tough outer leaves discarded and leeks trimmed to about 7 inches long and cut lengthwise into quarters or eighths
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Young Foodies

While I was home in Jersey this weekend, I stumbled upon an interesting article in the NY Times about food blogs! The article mentioned how food blogs have blown up in New Jersey and restaurants are now used to people coming in with cameras to document their dining experience. What was interesting was that most of the popular food bloggers admitted that they don't accept free meals because they want their ratings to be fair and unbiased. It made me think that it must be hard NOT to accept a free meal from someone who wants to be featured on your blog. But that's the beauty of the blog community...there are still so many bloggers who want to publish without influence from advertisers or for profit.

One of the blogs mentioned that I checked out and will now read daily is A Food Coma. The editor is Alexandra Harcharek who is only 21 years old! The site is aimed at college students and people in their early twenties who have a love for food and dining, yet are tied down by a student budget (kinda like how this blog is supposed to be). On their page they say this:

Amateurs, mostly. Just barely old enough to drink, but not rent our own cars.

But we are also avid learners and experimenters. Food enthusiasts.

We aim to discover new things and then teach others about them.

I really love this little quote because it says a lot about young people, especially in NJ & NY, who are adventurous winers and diners. It's exciting to know that there is an entire community out there of young's definitely a peek into the future of food blogging. Even though it's a Jersey based blog, you should check out A Food Coma, they also have some amazing recipes. I'm eying the "Peasant Pasta w/ Cannellini Beans". Also check out the article from the NY Times. I think I'll add a RSS feed of A Food Coma to my site as well.

One of the Food Coma bloggers capturing a visual of what looks like a delicious meal.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Just because I love Gaga...

Just wanted to say that I'm soooo happy that Lady Gaga will be gracing the April cover of Cosmo. And she looks...great! No elaborate costumes, no ridiculous hairstyles, this may be the most dressed down you'll ever see her. Totally off topic but I can't help but love this woman.

Shhh don't tell!

I keep hearing things about this bar called P.D.T (Please Don't Tell) on St. Marks and I've decided I need to go here. I first heard about it when I was watching the Travel Channel a few weeks ago and saw a show called "Extreme Bars". So here's the deal.

P.D.T is a cocktail lounge hidden within a hot dog shop. I know, I'm already sold with just that. Kinda like a speakeasy, you first have to walk into a supposed hot dog place called Crif Dogs. (They serve deep-fried hot dogs and waffle fries, sounds like a delicious heart attack)

Inside, there is a vintage phone booth that you must enter if you want to go to P.D.T. You pick up the phone and wait for someone to answer. Then the back of the phone booth will open and VOILA you have entered a posh cocktail lounge.

Doesn't this sound like fun? NYMag has raved about the cocktails that they serve up at this place and I definitely want to make it a point to go here in the near future. If anyone has been, please let me know how it is!

113 St. Marks Pl. near 1st Ave.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sushi Love

So I briefly mentioned in a previous post that my favorite food ever is sushi. All kinds of sushi. Whenever I'm home in Jersey, my family and I always go to the same sushi restaurant: Nagoya. I won't bother telling you too much about the place because it is an unlikely scenario that anyone will find themselves in Mahwah, New Jersey looking for sushi (but if you do, GO HERE).

My brother, Adrian, is famous at this place though. Whenever he walks in, he gets a freakishly warm welcome from the staff and I feel like I'm dining with a celebrity, probably a B-List celebrity, but still. The main sushi chef and restaurant owner (everyone calls him Sushi Steve) is always giving Adrian free little samples and bottomless amounts of sake. My brother and his friends even made a Facebook group for Nagoya lovers where they plan group dinners about once a month. It's getting a little ridiculous.

Sushi Steve always comes up with the most creative rolls that involve anything from jalepenos to mangoes. The BEST appetizer would be the "Crunchy Crunchy Crunchy" which is basically a slab of spicy tuna mixture sandwiched between crispy seaweed wasabi crackers. YUM.

But anyway, whenever my brother or I end up eating here, we can't help but take pictures because the sushi is just so beautiful! The reason I even thought of writing this post was because I was just browsing through old pictures and started salvating at the thought of inhaling any of these dishes right now. I WISH. I am going home on Sunday, so I think a trip to Nagoya will be in order...

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus

I did it!

I ventured to the Arthur Ave. Market and bought some amazing freshly sliced prosciutto. I just didn't know what I was going to do with it right away. Luckily, I was with my mom. She is an amazing chef, most of my inspiration for wanting to learn how to cook. She reminded me of an appetizer that she makes for parties all the time and it's soooo simple.

It's Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus and it only takes about 15 minutes to make it.
If you want to try it, you'll need:

-A batch of fresh asparagus
-1/2 lb of prosciutto
-cream cheese, or any spreadable, soft cheese
-1 lemon
-parmesan cheese ( for sprinkling )

First you'll want to blanch the asparagus. Cut off the tips of the asparagus. Put your asparagus into a pot of boiling water for 5 minutes. You want to make sure they are still firm and didn't get soggy. Immediately transfer the asparagus to a bowl of cold water to "shock" them. Pat asparagus dry. Take a small strip of the prosciutto and spread a tiny bit of the cream cheese onto it. Next, grate some lemon zest onto the prosciutto (my mom told me this is the secret ingredient). Wrap the prosciutto around the center of the asparagus and repeat!

This really does make a delicious snack. I made it for my friends and they all approved!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Oms/B Rice Balls

After starting my internship at Women's Health, it has been a goal of mine to find delicious, yet inexpensive places to eat lunch near my office. Luckily, I work in midtown two blocks away from Grand Central so it's really easy to get down there from the Bronx and there are plenty of places to have a decent lunch.

I work Tuesdays and Thursdays. Last Thursday was the treacherous blizzard and I had to work. I didn't remember to bring my own lunch and was not happy. My little cubicle is right next to the window so all morning I was glaring out into the dark and stormy streets, dreading to ever leave the office. But by 12:45 my stomach was begging me for something, anything. So I ventured out. I didn't have an umbrella or anything so I literally ran into the first little place I saw, on the corner of 45th and 3rd.

The place I stumbled into is called Oms/B Rice Ball Cafe and I am so happy I found it. I love love love sushi so this was a perfect spot in my eyes. It's a tiny place with only a few tables and they sell sushi and little rice balls a la carte. Their menu is reasonably priced and they have some pretty interesting things on the menu. When I ate there, I had a spicy tuna roll, a shrimp popcorn riceball (which is shrimp tempura with chili mayonnaise sauce on top of rice mixed with chives, wrapped in green lettuce) and a lobster salad rice ball (lobster salad on top of sliced cucumber and rice mixed with chives). It sounds like a lot, and it is. All of this cost me $9 and it was definitely worth it. Everything was fresh and delicious. I will definitely be heading back here for lunch, next time hopefully not in the middle of a blizzard.

Oms/B Cafe

156 East 45th St. btw 3rd and Lex

Monday, February 22, 2010

Fresh & Local

One thing that I feel guilty about as my time living in the Bronx comes to an end is not taking enough advantage of the fresh produce that is available on Arthur Ave. Shopping at specialty stores for individual ingredients does take more effort, but buying things fresh makes a difference. We are so lucky to have amazing butcheries, a fish market, a cheese shop, a bakery and so many other stores that value their products with extreme pride.

One thing I love about shopping on Arthur Ave is stopping at the oyster bar next to Umberto's to have a few oysters or clams with hot sauce. So delicious!

In the spring, when it gets warmer, I'm planning to utilize my neighborhood for cooking ingredients instead of heading to the grocery store to buy things in bulk and watch as they quickly go bad after a week in the fridge.

Last year, I bought my dad the Arthur Ave Cookbook for Father's Day and I think its about time that I steal it for a little while. Not only does it have great Italian recipes straight from the restaurants in the Belmont community, but it also has a little history about each place and biographies about the families that have owned these places for generations. I recommend checking it out, you can find it at the Arthur Ave. Market

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Hype Machine

A bit of an off subject post... but if you've never experienced Hype Machine, go there now!
Hype is a website that takes all of the most talked about songs & artists from thousands of music blogs and compiles them onto this site, where you can listen to all of the tracks for free. It's a great way to hear new music that is popular among bloggers and the music scene in general. If you sign up (for free) you can "favorite" songs that you like and they get sent to your "loved history" so you can listen to them again or download them later. My favorite thing about Hype is finding remixes that you can't really find anywhere else. I just found a cover of the Kid Cudi song "Pursuit of Happiness" by a band called Barbara and I'm in love! You'll find some unexpected treausures on Hype, I promise.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Belmont Living

Last week, our little neighborhood in the Bronx was featured in the NY Times Real Estate section. We should be proud to live here! Check out the article...

A lovely view of Hoffman!

I want these

If I could be teleported to anywhere in the city right now in this snowy weather, it would be Mee Noodle Shop on 9th Ave. Their soups & ramens are completely authentic and even though the decor is sparse, it doesn't even matter because the food more than makes up for it. When I'm in the city for work or class, I often meet up with a friend here for an enormous bowl of Cantonese Wonton Soup (only about $5!). Mee is a cozy place to catch up with a friend and if you've walked down 9th ave, I'm sure you've walked by this place a thousand times without even realizing it. It's the kind of place that frequents people who come here all the time, who know the owners' names and have a "regular" on the menu. These are the places in NY that get over looked. There's nothing fancy about Mee, just a big bowl of noodles and the company of friends makes the perfect lunch spot on a winter day. If you have class at Lincoln Center, or you just happen to find yourself in Hell's Kitchen, you should definitely check it out. I would recommend the Wonton Soup or Curry Noodle Soup...both are delicious. But, because I'm stuck in the Bronx doing homework and craving soup, I guess I'll just have to settle for Campbell's today.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Rainbow Cupcakes

One of my favorite favorite things is cupcakes. Since I was little it was always my favorite treat and I would beg my mom to make them with me. By far, she has the perfect cupcake recipe which I've been meaning to ask her the recipe for. On Valentine's Day I was downtown and made the terrible decision to stop by the best cupcake shop in the city, Magnolia Bakery to pick up a Valentine's Day treat for me & my roommates. Yeah, bad idea. There was a line around the block just to get inside. I decided to wait. Now THAT'S cupcake devotion. But totally worth it. Magnolia made special Valentine's cupcakes that were red velvet and had pink frosting. AMAZING. I actually think I'm going to go eat one right now....But my friend Steph just sent me this link she found on StumbleUpon for making rainbow cupcakes.
These look delicious and so much fun to make. If you're feeling ambitious, here is the recipe. ENJOY

Judge a wine by it's label?

Choosing a good wine is a serious feat. When you're browsing through the aisles and you aren't a wine connoisseur, how do you pick the right one? It's not like you can open up the bottle and try it in the shop. My friends and I were debating whether or not it's okay to pick a wine bottle based on the attractiveness of the label. When I can't decide on a bottle or don't have any particular ones in mind, I will admit that I absolutely pick a bottle that looks pretty. Call me superficial but I don't exactly know the difference between a cabernet and a pinot noir! (Even though I am trying to become more wine-educated). Maybe this method doesn't always work out but it got me looking at some creative labels today...the quality of these wines are probably not all great but aren't they fun anyway?